Unit Theme: Culture and Identity

Week 3 Focus: Poetry and Drama


My Week 3 Rundown



(Terms to Know: Imagery and stanza.)

This Week’s Reading


Before you begin this week’s reading, review the discussion prompts for this week’s G+ Conversations. The following texts will serve as the basis for this week’s discussion:

  • Required:
    • (Poetry) “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, LHE 594-95.
    • (Poetry) “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot, LHE 595-99.
    • (Poetry) “Latin Women Pray” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, LHE 605.
    • (Poetry) “Daystar” by Rita Dove, LHE 606.
    • (Poetry) Individual choice: Read at least two of the remaining poems in the “Poetry” section of “Culture and Identity” in LHE (this could include “The Stranglehold of English Lit.” by Feliz Mnthali on page 713-14).
    • (Drama) “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, LHE 916-28.
    • In conjunction with “Trifles,” read Glaspell’s short story version of this play, which is titled “Jury of Her Peers.” You can find the complete text online on the flipside of this link. Once you’ve read both texts, consider how reading the same story in different genres (a play and a short story) influenced the way you received the narrative and what you got out of it.

  • Supplemental
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Poetry,” LHE 11-19. Review the questions listed on pages 17-19 under “Exploring Poetry.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss poetry throughout the semester. Note: These sections from LHE remind me of a moment in the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) when Mr. Keating instructs his students to rip the introduction from their textbook because he didn’t want it to intrude on their reading of poetry. I won’t go that far, but I will direct you to a clip of that moment in the film and suggest that you take these introductions to reading literature (“Reading Fiction,” “Reading Nonfiction,” “Reading Poetry,” “Reading Drama”) only for what they’re worth as means to enhance your interactions with and response to texts from each genre.
    • (Strongly encouraged) “Reading Drama” LHE 22-30. Review the questions listed on pages 29-30 under “Exploring Drama.” You might want to dog ear these pages and return to them as we discuss drama throughout the semester.
    • (Video) Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” performed by various people on YouTube. I found the PopPunk version by TeraBite especially interesting.

    • (Video) Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” performed by various people on YouTube. Check out especially these three performances: the poem read by Eliot himself, the poem animated, and the poem read by Sir Anthony Hopkins.
    • (Video) “Rita Dove Reads ‘Daystar'” posted on Vimeo by BillMoyers.com.
    • (Video) “Trifles by Susan Glaspell, a d’moiselles production in NYC” posted by d’moiselles on YouTube.
    • (Audio) Glaspell’s “Jury of Her Peers” read by Cori Samuels for LibriVox (“Jury” is #5 on the list).


Other Preparation Activities

  • Record two entries in your Reading Notebook.
  • Search the internet for an online resource that supplements one of the texts from this week’s reading (see my list of supplemental texts for examples of what you might find). Once you’ve found your resource, paste a link in this shared Google spreadsheet. Be sure to fill in all the information asked for in the sheet.
  • Review the Book Review assignment. (Link forthcoming.)


  • By Thursday: Using #amreading, post three comments on Twitter for the texts you read this week. By Sunday: Reply to three of your peers’ tweets, responding to what they’ve said about the text (e.g., say what you liked or didn’t like about it, another quote that struck you from the text, etc.). You can find your classmates on Twitter via the list on the flipside of this link.
  • Initial post by Thursday, three responses by Sunday: Participate in the We Wear the Mask G+ Conversation.
  • Initial post by Friday, three responses by Monday: Participate in the Introduction to Poetry G+ Conversation.


*Unless otherwise noted, assignments are due by midnight of the date posted.